Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Heather Mbaye


The agricultural sector in Zambia is supported through the government use of public expenditure programs to spur the production and subsidize the consumption of key grains to stabilize prices. Previous research has documented the effects of public spending on agriculture in terms of food prices and food security. The effects of government spending on the trade of key grains, however, is not well understood. As such, there is a gap in knowledge regarding the impact of agricultural policy on the agricultural trade. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of Zambian agricultural policy on grain trade. A combination of 2 trust-based theories formed the theoretical foundation of this study. These theories included ecology of games theory and Kingdon's garbage-can model. Secondary data were acquired from the Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database and Michigan State University. A vector autoregression analysis of time-series data covering a 10-year period from 2003 to 2012 showed that grain quantities purchased by the Food Reserve Agency significantly impacted grain trade (p = 0.000), whereas the Farmer Input Subsidy Program did not significantly impact grain trade (p = 0.843). However, the combined effect of these 2 policy instruments was found to be statistically significant (p = 0.000). The key finding of this study is that for every 1 metric ton purchased by the Food Reserve Agency, grain trade increases by 0.342 metric tons; whereas for every 1 Kwacha spent on Farmer Input Subsidy Program, grain trade decreases by 0.187 metric tons. Positive social change may be achieved through recommendations to policy makers to increase appropriations to postharvest management and extension to increase tradable volumes and farmers' income.